Decades of generosity: Redcliffe veteran celebrated this National Volunteer Week

24 May 2024
  • Veteran stories
  • ANZACspirit

National Volunteer Week is from 20-26 May this year, but for Carol Orr, volunteering is something she naturally does year-round. The 76-year-old veteran has been helping out in her community in various capacities for 33 years, with 25 of those as a volunteer and member of Redcliffe RSL Sub Branch.

From providing wellbeing and advocacy support to veterans, to assisting with the coordination of commemorative events, the former Australian Air Force Clerk Administration loves giving back to her community.  

“It’s just so nice to help people when they need it. Putting a smile on their face makes me feel worthy and gives me so much satisfaction,” Carol says.  

Carol Orr

“Myself and my ex-husband served, and I really enjoyed my time in the Air Force because of the friendships I made. I think volunteering for the Sub Branch has a similar sense of that camaraderie. We understand each other’s needs and how to talk to one another.” 

Carol volunteers in the wellbeing and advocacy space through the Sub Branch’s Vic Reading Wellbeing and Compensation Centre. Her responsibilities include visiting veterans across 10 nursing homes in Redcliffe, making trips to Redcliffe Hospital and Peninsula Private Hospital, as well as conducting at-home visits for individuals who are aging but still reside in their homes. 

“A lot of Redcliffe RSL Sub Branch members are getting older and need our help, so we want them to know we are here for them and care,” Carol says.  

“In addition to visits, I also provide transportation services to doctors appointments, support individuals following medical procedures, assist with understanding important documentation and forms, and support veterans experiencing homelessness.” 

Carol Orr

Carol can witness documents as a qualified Justice of the Peace and is a certified advocate through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. She says the Advocacy Training and Development Program equipped her with valuable education and tools for her volunteer work. 

“Part of my volunteering now includes training individuals to become wellbeing volunteers. I bring them along with me and show them how to interact with others. It’s great to see people flourish and become a part of it, developing a passion for volunteering in the advocacy space,” Carol explains.  

Carol also helps with key commemorative services throughout the year as a part of the sub committee. 

“On the day of a commemorative service, I assist with the wreath table and hand them out to each dignitary,” Carol says. 

Carol also organises Poppy Services for veterans who have passed away. 

Australian Army Cadet places poppy on ANZAC Day

An Australian Army Cadet from 16 Army Cadet Unit Redcliffe lays a poppy and flag | Image by Cadet Under Officer Harry Anderson

“We have sadly lost around 30 ex-service women, and I have been involved in helping at almost all those services. These services are very sad, but it’s a privilege of mine to honour these individuals,” Carol says. 

Also serving as President for the Royal Australian Airforce Association and President of the Redcliffe and District Ex-Service Women’s Club Inc. Carol says despite her age, she has no intention of slowing down any time soon. 

“I really love what I do in the volunteer space and I think it has such a positive impact. A lot of people need help and I see the many benefits from our support.”  


National Volunteer Week shines a light on the ways volunteering brings us all together, builds community and achieves vital work across Australia. Find your local RSL Sub Branch and become a member of RSL Queensland, or learn about other volunteering opportunities at